How to Clean Your Robot Vacuum Properly

Closeup view of a robot vacuum roomba

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5 to 10

A robot vacuum tirelessly keeps your floor free of dirt and dust and takes the burden of vacuuming off of your weekly schedule. But, you may notice that after a while, it may not be working as hard as it once did. Other than emptying the debris bin, when was the last time you showed it a bit of love by giving it a thorough cleaning?

All brands of robot vacuums—Roomba, Yeedi, Samsung, and others—require regular cleaning to keep them performing at their best. The task is not difficult, just takes a bit of time. You'll be amazed how much better the little robot vacuum cleans your floors after you clean it.

How Often to Clean a Robot Vacuum

Unless you have a base that does automatic dirt disposal, the collection bin should be checked and emptied at least every other day. The frequency depends on how heavily soiled your floors become. The collection bin should be cleaned at least monthly to clear away small particles of dust and prevent clogs.

The vacuum filter should be cleaned at least weekly to remove fine particles and pet hair that can quickly restrict airflow. Clean the sensors, charging contacts, and wheels every two weeks and the brushes monthly.

Before You Begin

Before you disassemble your robot vacuum or begin a cleaning process, consult your model's user manual. If you have lost the manual, a quick search on the internet will give you a timetable for cleaning your model and step-by-step instructions.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 trash can
  • 2 microfiber cloths
  • 1 screwdriver (optional)
  • 1 pair small scissors
  • 1 pair tweezers
  • 1 vacuum with hose and attachments
  • 1 soft-bristled brush (old toothbrush or paintbrush)


  • 1 bottle dishwashing liquid


Materials needed to clean a robot vac roomba

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Clean Your Robot Vacuum

  1. Power Down the Vacuum

    Disconnect the robot vacuum from its charging station and turn the power switch off.

    Unplugging the robot vacuum

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  2. Empty the Collection Bin

    Empty the collection bin over a waste receptacle or trash bag.

    Emptying the collection bin in the robot vacuum

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Remove the Filter

    Remove the air filter and clean it following the manufacturer's directions. Some filters can be rinsed off with warm water. Others should only be dusted with a soft-bristled brush. Consult your model's user guide for how often the filter should be replaced.

    Removing and cleaning the filter in the robot vacuum

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Clean the Collection Bin

    Use a microfiber cloth to wipe out the collection bin or hand-wash it in hot, soapy water. Dry it well with a clean microfiber cloth paying attention to the sensors so they are dust free. When the bin is clean, reinsert the cleaned filter.


    Unless specified by the manufacturer, robot vacuum components are not dishwasher safe. With any component that you wash or rinse with water, be sure it is completely dry before reassembling the vacuum.

    Do not use any type of spray cleaner or water on or near the sensors.

    Using a microfiber cloth to clean the collection bin

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  5. Clean the Outer Brush

    Most robot vacuums have a small outer "winged" brush to clean along corners and wall edges. Use tweezers or small scissors to remove any tangled hairs and wipe the brushes clean with a microfiber cloth. You may need to use a screwdriver to remove the brush for cleaning.

    Cleaning the outer brush of the vacuum

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  6. Clean the Wheel

    If the wheel can't turn freely, the vacuum will get off course and there could be damage to your flooring. The caster wheel is removable on most vacuums. Take it off and remove any trapped debris in the wheel cavity, wipe the area with a microfiber cloth to remove dust, and reassemble the unit.

    Cleaning the wheel of the robot vacuum

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  7. Clean the Brushes

    The brushes that loosen and sweep dirt into the bin can quickly become coated with tangled hairs, threads, and dust. Remove them from the vacuum following the manufacturer's guidelines. Most have tabs that can be depressed to release the brushes.

    • If the brushes have caps, remove them to empty any trapped debris in the center of the brush. Use small scissors or tweezers to cut away tangled items. Take care not to cut the brush fibers.
    • Wipe away dust from the cavity that holds the brushes with a microfiber cloth or use a full-size vacuum with a hose and crevice attachment. Be sure that the pathway between the brushes and the collection bin is free of clogs.
    • Reinsert the brushes.
    Cleaning the brush in the robot vacuum

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  8. Clean the Sensors

    Finally, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away dust from the sensors, camera window, and charging contacts.

    Cleaning the sensors of the robot vacuum

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  9. Clean the Charging Base

    Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away dust from the sensors on the charging base. If you have an automatic dirt collection bin, be sure the blower is not clogged, check the disposable bag for fullness, and replace it if needed.

    Cleaning the charging station

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Tips to Keep Your Robot Vacuum Working Well

  • Don't ignore the robot vacuum. Check it weekly and clean it well at least monthly.
  • Pay attention to alert lights and audio signals that indicate the vacuum isn't functioning properly.
  • If you have a dirt disposal station, check it frequently to prevent clogs that can cause the robot vacuum to stop functioning.